I Know You're There: Malevolent Innocence

*Conclusion to the I Know You're There trilogy* Reuben's dead. Never to return. Tori doesn't grieve, she gets on with her life. In fact, her and Damien's wedding is coming up. Sure, she loves him, but not like she loved Reuben. Everything's fine; absolutely fine. Despite the fact she cries herself to sleep, and prays for Reuben to come back every moment, everything's fine. What am I saying? It's Tori Hills, nothing's going to be fine, especially when she's about to devote her life to the wrong guy. 'I swear, if mine and Reuben's love was fire, we'd be nothing, but ash.'


25. Epilogue

Tori's POV


"I swear to God, put me through child birth again, and I will make your death look like an accident," I hissed at Reuben, as another contraction took over my body.

"I'm really sorry," he instantly apologised, deathly afraid of me.

Most people were afraid of me, at that point. The pain was unbearable, so I wasn't the happiest girl in the world. All of this, just to bring new life into the world.

A searing fire burned at the small of my back, as cramps knotted around my abdomen, making me squirm uncomfortably. I squeezed my eyes shut, and crushed Reuben's hand with my own. Squeaks of pain made their way out through my gritted teeth, my jaw clenched closed. It started off as dull cramps, working up to period pain level, then BAM, death in a contraction.

"You'll be okay," Reuben reassured me, wincing as one of the bones in his hand clicked.

"That's what they all say," I teased, as the contraction came to an end, leaving me in relief.

"It'll be over soon, and we can go home," he smiled his breathtaking smile, literally leaving me breathless.

Ten years since I first met him, and he still has that effect on me. Dammit.

I cried out in pain, as another contraction attacked me. It hadn't even been one minute since the last one! A girl deserves a break. Reuben grimaced, half in watching my pain, half in the pain I was causing his hand. To be honest, half of the problem was probably that hard, hospital bed.


Ten. Hours. Later. Ten hours. Ten whole bloody hours of pain later, I had a baby. Throughout those ten hours, I'd managed to break two bones in Reuben's hand, and fractured his wrist. It's his fault anyway, for persuading me into having a kid. My baby had been taken away from me, for a quick check over, before I'd finally get to hold her or him. I hadn't even been told what gender my baby was.

Reuben was down in a different ward, getting a brace on his wrist, and a cast on half of his hand. I would apologise, but if I went through pain, he was coming down with me. After all, it was his kid as well! Wife of the year material, right here.

"Tori!" a voice squeaked, running into the maternity ward.

"Ollie," I nodded once, in acknowledgement, having no more energy.

"I hear you broke Reuben's hand," he bit his bottom lip, trying not to smirk.

"Indeed I did," I replied.

Ollie released his laughter, clearly enjoying the fact I managed to do that. In fact, he was doubled over, clutching his side, his dirty blond hair covering his face. 

"Yeah, keep laughing, but just keep waiting until Mollie goes into labour," I smirked, and he froze up.

"Remind me not to hold her hand," a ghostly look appeared on his face, and I managed a small laugh, "So, is it a him or a her?" Ollie asked, taking the seat Reuben had been using for the past lifetime of pain.

"I don't know, they didn't tell me," I frowned, and started to worry.

What if something had happened to my baby, which was why they had to take it away so quickly? Panic rose in my throat, and I forgot every moment of pain, not caring about it. 

"Don't worry, Tori, you'll make yourself sick," Ollie reassured me, rubbing my upper arm soothingly.

"Yeah... You're right..." I breathed out, knowing stress would get me nowhere.

A midwife walked in, a grin on her face, "Are you ready to see your baby, ma'am?" she asked brightly.

I bit my bottom lip, thinking for a minute, "Can we wait until my husband gets back?"

"Of course," the grin never left her face, as she left again.

Sighing, I leant my head back, and closed my eyes. A dull ache covered my entire body, but I was more or less okay. It was a lot less painful than everything I'd just been through, so I welcomed it. Ollie stayed quiet, letting me enjoy a few minutes of well deserved peace. Cade, my older brother, had let me know he couldn't make it for another few weeks, as Bella was also in labour again.

"I'm back," Reuben grumbled, and I forced my eyes open.

"How's your hand?" I asked, biting back my laughter.

"Just wonderful," he muttered, taking the seat opposite Ollie, on the other side of my bed.

"I'm sorry," I pouted slightly, looking up at him through my eyelashes.

He sighed audibly, "It's okay."

"I see your husband is back, ready to see your baby yet?" the chirpy midwife returned.

"Yep, of course," I beamed, sitting up.

This was our first - and most likely last - child. Motherly instincts were already kicking in, over how there was no way I'd let anyone hurt my baby. We still needed some names... From the day we found out I was pregnant, we tried to come up with some names, but nothing seemed to catch on enough. Maybe when we saw him or her, a name would pop into our heads.

"Okay, Mr and Mrs Dane, you have a baby boy, weighing in at exactly seven pounds," the midwife smiled, carrying a bundle of blankets in her arms, containing our baby.

A soft crying came from the blankets, as the midwife handed him down to me. Gently, I cradled him in my arms, and the crying died down a bit. He gazed up at me, with large, innocent, green eyes, chewing on one of his fingers with toothless gums. On top of his head, there was a tuft of jet hair, the same shade as Reuben's hair.

"He has your eyes," Reuben whispered, resting his chin on my shoulder.

Of course, my eyes were blue, due to being an Angel, but before, they were green. Same with Ollie.

"He has your hair," I grinned, imagining a mini Reuben, just with my eyes.

"He's perfect," he softly pressed his lips to my neck, just underneath my ear, making a cool shiver run down my spine.

"So, you guys got a name yet?" Ollie asked, grinning down at our baby, pulling funny faces.

"Um... I don't know," I murmured, afraid that if my voice was any louder, he'd start crying again.

"I have an idea, but I don't know if you'll like it," Reuben pitched in, so I nodded in gesture for him to tell me, "What about Drake? You know, after... Drake."

"That's perfect," I smiled, looking down at Drake, who had a cute, lopsided smile of his own.

"I think Oliver is a fantastic middle name, just saying," Ollie interrupted, sticking his bottom lip out in thought.

Laughing, I rolled my eyes. Drake Oliver Dane wasn't such a bad name, actually. Reuben seemed to share the same thought, and whispered the full name in my ear, telling me that he liked the sound of it. 

"Okay then, Drake Oliver Dane it is," I decided, earning a 'whoop' from Ollie.

Unfortunately, his happiness was a bit too loud, and Drake started to cry again. I sighed, giving Ollie the best death glare I could muster up. Reuben joined me, not wanting to see his son cry, even though it's inevitable, that he's a baby, and he will cry at anything. 

Tenderly, Reuben took Drake from me, holding him close to his chest. The crying faded away again, as he stared up at his father with wide eyes, intrigued. It was the most precious sight ever, and an audible 'aw' escaped my lips. Reuben rolled his eyes at me, but couldn't stop himself from beaming at his newborn son, awed by him too.

The door squeaked slightly, as it opened, and I looked up to see my parents, along with Reuben's sister, Raven. All three of them were grinning like crazy, but then again, so were we. After all, it felt incredible, knowing that you've brought new life into the world, and can be proud to call yourself a mother. It's even better, knowing that your son, the most delicate thing in your world, had the best father ever. 

"Have you got a name yet?" my Mum mumbles, keeping her voice quiet, too.

"Drake Oliver Dane," Ollie recited, proud that his first name, was the middle name of his nephew.

"Yay, I'm an Auntie!" Raven skipped over, but being the light-footed pixie she is, didn't even disturb the air.

"Oh my God..." Ollie's eyes widened in shock, "I'm an Uncle... I sound so old!"

"Well we're Grandparents, we're a lot older than you," my Dad said, shutting Ollie right up.

"Can I hold him? Pretty please?" Raven fluttered her eyelashes at Reuben, dragging a chair up beside him.

"Yes, of course you can," Reuben told her, and Raven beamed at him.


About an hour later, Drake was back in my arms, fast asleep. Bless him, he was exhausted from meeting all of his family. Well, not all, there was still Cade, Bella, Mollie, and Shane, Raven's husband. Yep, they finally sealed the deal, as did Mollie and Ollie. I swear there was one more person due to visit us...

Just as the thought ran through my head, the door opened again, and Damien appeared, his blond hair covering his eyes in a messy mop. Despite everything, Damien was a close family friend. 

"Sorry I'm late, there's so much traffic!" he whined quietly, coming over, but not sitting down, as all the seats were occupied.

"It's cool," I smiled, not looking away from Drake. He was just so perfectly cute!

"I brought you some food. Hospital food is not good," he held up a bag, and I could have sang for joy.

He worked in a restaurant, waiting tables, which meant he could take the leftover food home, if he wanted to.

"I love you so much," I told him, earning a slight elbow jab from Reuben.

"I have that effect," he winked, knowing he was winding Reuben up.

After eating, my parents had to leave, and they dragged Ollie out with them. That left Damien, and Raven. Soon, they had to leave too, as the sun started sinking in the sky. A different midwife took Drake, organising somewhere for him to sleep, where he was have intensive care, so that we could sleep too. 

I moved over on my hospital bed, making enough room for Reuben. I told him he could go home, if he wanted, but he refused, wanting to spend the night with me. We lived in that run down house, beside mine, which we'd renovated, until it looked brand new. We even had a room prepared for Drake, when he was old enough to stay in his own room. We had another spare room, if we did ever have another child.

"You know I said I'd kill you, if you wanted another baby?" I whispered into the darkness, feeling Reuben's grip on me tightening slightly.

"Yeah..." he warily replied, unaware of what direction I was taking this.

"Well... It's not really that bad..." I guiltily mumbled, "And I'm sure Drake would want a little brother or sister. Preferably sister," I told him.

"I think I deserve an apology for all of these death threats, then," I felt him smirk, his lips brushing my ear with each word.

"I would apologise, but I'd be lying..." I smirked back, and he chuckled.

"Well, let's get through kid number one, before we plan a second one," he rubbed my arm soothingly, making me feel even more exhausted.

"Yeah, you're right," I replied, shutting my eyes, on the verge of unconsciousness.

"I love you," Reuben lightly kissed my cheek, pulling me closely against his body.

"I love you, more," I easily replied, not doubting myself at all.

He smiled, "Too bad, I love you most."

I opened my mouth to reply, but I was already asleep, too far gone to respond to him. Did I love him more than he loved me? I had no clue, but I definitely knew he was one of two of the most important things in the world. There was him, the best husband in the world, and Drake, the most perfect son I could ever even imagine. 



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